Gah. That's all I can say. Gah. Get it off.
Just imagine if one couldn't read Paul Constant or Dan Savage without there being ads all over the page and the screen. Talk about an unworkable business model!

Good thing there was an expert on business to speak up to set these publishers straight on how to make a profit.
Hey, I thought Fnarf needed Preparation H. Is there another reason why he's always so cranky?
It is a lazy cliche to bring up some off the wall bowel/butt/bathroom related product when you're trying to slam advertising, isn't it?
@2, newspapers are different than books. For one thing, the ads in The Stranger and on Slog pay for the content; the blog and paper are free to readers. Books are not.

My fear is that ebooks with ads all over them will replace books, and the literary capital of America will evaporate as a result. Ebooks are already substantially stupider than paper books, simply because the smartest books tend not to make it to e-readers, while the stupidest books do.
What about magazines, comic books, movies, broadcast TV, radio and cable TV? All have had or have differing amounts of ads. The only lesson is that sometimes ads and lowbrow entertainment take over, and sometimes they don't. Who can say what will happen?
Any model where the user pays for content and is inundated with ads is doomed. People will accept one or the other, but not both.
@6, the experience of reading a long-form narrative book is not compatible with ads. It might make sense if they were stuffed in somewhere in the middle -- those paperback ads for Salems or Newports were tacky but not all that intrusive -- but if there are ads on the borders the book becomes literally impossible to read. Books that are impossible to read will not sell.

People who try this will always be at a disadvantage against those who hold back, which will keep it from ever happening on a broad scale. If I was an author and I found out there were going to be border ads in my ebooks I'd dump my publisher as fast as possible, since my sales would plummet to zero.
So it's "traditionalist" to want to purchase a book and read it w/o advertising? Or write a book and want your readers to be able to read it w/o advertising?

Jesus H Christ, as my sainted reader-father used to say.
I'm just old enough to remember that cable TV, in its first tentative steps beyond "community antenna" television (for those suburbs just one signal-blocking hill away from the big-city broadcast towers), was promoted as being ad-free... because you paid directly for the subscription. In most areas that lasted less than five years. So e-books with ads are just about on schedule.
(Meant to say "premium channels"--early HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. Broadcast stations promulgated on cable included their original ads.)
Reminds me that in 1980 I worked for Santa Barbara Cable Television, which is how we initially answered the phone--that, or "Cable TV" for the jaded veterans among us. Within that one year our phone identity morphed successively, in response to corporate mergers and middle-management dumbfuckery, to:

"Santa Barbara Home Entertainment Service"--when our 12-year-old office manager decided that "cable TV" didn't properly describe the rich cornucopia of our offerings. No syllables to be omitted when answering a call (or paying one's bill). This led to lots of whiskey-voiced matrons and daddies suggesting that we come on over and entertain them.

"Cox Cable Santa Barbara"--which led to one of my cohorts suggesting in a staff meeting that we answer the phone with "Santa Barbara Cox." We thought he had either a death wish or a trust fund. He soon became a marketing executive in the Atlanta headquarters.

/non sequiturs
Every encumberment of a digital media source incentivizes piracy... who wouldn't want an ad-free version of a book they paid for? And once you notice that the free option is superior in quality, what incentive do you have to continue paying a publisher? If you want to support an artist of any kind, you can always donate to them directly.

In short, they should stay the hell away from this. The fewer people that even think about pirating books, the better chance they have at making it work.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.